Posted by

Nora Senior

28 Jun 2013

I spend a good deal of my working life on trains, planes and automobiles, conducting business beyond the borders of the UK. As an ‘exporter of services’, I know that there are a huge number of markets out there where Britain is a by-word for quality and where our business reputation is strong. There are plenty of overseas markets growing at a much faster pace than that of the UK, and where the opportunities sometimes feel almost limitless. From my many years of working with Chambers of Commerce across the country, I know that as a Network we bring together some of Britain’s best and brightest exporting companies – as well as some of the new and dynamic firms ready to break into markets overseas.

Through my travels, I have seen first-hand how it has become easier and more cost effective to trade internationally. But we have to take the fear out of exporting, particularly for smaller companies.  Entering into markets where there is a different language spoken, different culture and different tax and regulation systems can be hugely daunting. And businesses often don’t know don’t know how to take that initial first step, or where to go to get help and direction

But that is where Chambers of Commerce come in. They offer a range of services to help new and existing exporters, from hosting ‘familiarisation’ seminars, getting on a plane and taking businesses to new and fast-growing markets, finding new leads and making key contacts. A perfect example was in March this year when British Chambers of Commerce personnel led 14 member businesses over to Moscow on a trade mission.  And there are many more local Chambers of Commerce who are doing exactly the same thing – leading trade missions to a number of different countries such as Nigeria, China, Turkey, the Baltics - the list goes on. As President of the British Chambers of Commerce I intend to make international trade one of my top priorities, and will be spreading the message loud and clear that businesses of all sizes and within all sectors should get out there and have a go. As Chambers we will be happy to hold their hands.

Only once we all start thinking global, will we have a chance at leading a successful, durable, export-led recovery.